Nigerian printers under the Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Nigeria have threatened to drag the Independent National Electoral Commission to court for allegedly printing a large chunk of its electoral materials overseas.
The agency said this was illegal and a violation of the CIPPON Act 24 of 2007 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The council is charged with the duty of regulating, controlling, managing and administration of printers, the business of printing and other printing related-matters in Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview with The PUNCH on Thursday, the President of CIPPON, Mr Olugbemi Malomo, admitted that the electoral body had been awarding printing jobs to local printers, but he insisted that outsourcing contracting printing contracts to foreign firms was a violation of the law.
Malomo explained that by law, INEC was obligated to award the printing of all electoral materials, including ballot papers to local printers through CIPPON.
He cited Section 23b of the CIPPON Act, which states, “In regulating the registration of printing practitioners, the council ensures that no firm or partnership shall practise as printers in Nigeria unless it is registered by the council.’’
Malomo stated that there was an improvement in the awards of contracts to Nigerian printers after the CIPPON council visited the INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, in Abuja last year.
The CIPPON President said, “There was an increase in patronage of our members. To that extent, that advocacy was meaningful. The second point is what percentage were we able to get? We have not been able to collate that.
“Was there any percentage (in INEC printing jobs) that was taken out? Certainly, but we don’t know what percentage that was taken out. The next level of advocacy, we are thinking of doing and I want you to quote me on this; is that we need to approach a court to interpret the law because the Act that established us says, ‘If you are not our member, you can’t get a printing job in Nigeria.’
“But we are aware that they patronise people who are not our members, so, we will eventually seek an interpretation of that (in court). But by and large, more people are patronised but we can’t say at what level or how many people were patronised.
“But with the help of the fourth estate of the realm (the media) and for the benefit of all Nigerians, we all need to work together. People are taking the jobs out of the country and I can tell you it is not because of lack of capacity, it is because of other interests.’’
Responding to insinuations that Nigerian firms may not possess the capacity to deliver the job on time at the required time, Malomo argued that ballot papers had been demystified by the transition to electronic voting.
Stressing that no single company could deliver the quantum of ballot papers and other material needed for the election, he said the excuse of lack of capacity usually levelled against Nigerian printers had also been eliminated by the amended Electoral Act, which had given INEC adequate time to prepare for elections.
He noted, “About four, five elections we have had. I’m not talking about presidential elections; election has moved away from ballot papers to card readers and electronic voting. The election is now one man, one vote.
“In other words, people who were compromising ballot papers, even if you give them a million ballot papers now, it doesn’t count anymore. So, when you talk about capacity, there is no single printing company in the world that can take up this (INEC) job at the required time.
“Capacity is also a function of time. The Electoral Act was also amended to give more time for printing. So, the excuse of lack of capacity has also been reduced or eliminated.
“INEC is one of the biggest users of paper, in particular, this election. We held a paper conference so that the issues of paper can be addressed so that we can use locally produced paper. How can we talk about capacity when the biggest spender is not even interested in an Olympic solution to the challenges it is having? Rather, it is taking the easy way out by going abroad because somebody is going to make more dollars.’’
The council president said money should be spent to develop local capacity as is the practice in developed countries.
“The American government will give you some grants and ask you to spend them on your company because they know what they are doing. That is why we have this post-election session a few years ago to talk about the future and learn a lot of lessons,’’ he submitted.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Rotimi Oyekanmi, declined comment.
JAMB Releases Timetable for 2024 UTME
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has fixed January 15 to February 26, 2024, for the sale of its Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) application document.
This was made known in a statement issued by the JAMB spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, on Wednesday, November 29.
Benjamin noted that the development was based on series of recommendations emanating from a two-day Information Technology (IT) and Management Retreat held between November 26 and 28.
Benjamin noted that March 7, 2024, has been slated for the 2024 Mock-UTME, while the main UTME would hold from April 19 to April 29, 2024.
He, therefore, advised candidates to print their examination slips from April 10, 2024.
The JAMB spokesman added: “Candidates are enjoined to take note of these dates and other advisories issued by the Board in relation to the administration of the examination.
“They are also to visit the Board’s website www.jamb gov.ng for any other information.”
Below is the 2024 JAMB schedule
2024 Jamb Official Timetable:
1. JAMB 2024 Registration Date 14th January 2024
2. JAMB Registration Deadline 14th February 2024
3. JAMB 2024 Registration Fee N4,700
4. JAMB 2024 Novel The Life Changer
5. JAMB 2024 Reprinting Date 29th April 2024
6. JAMB 2024 Mock Exam Date 20th April no 2024
7. JAMB 2024 Examination Date 29th April 2024
Palliative: Adeleke Approves Monthly Wage Award for Civil Servants, Pensioners
The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has approved the payment of wage award of N15,000 and N10,000 respectively to civil servants and pensioners in the state as a measure to mitigate the impact of subsidy removal.
The Governor, in a statement signed by his spokesperson, Mallam Olawale Rasheed, stated that the action was in continuation of his avowed commitment to workers’ welfare and a fulfillment of his pledge for the gradual rollout of palliative measures to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.
“On the first day of my second year in office, I unveil this wage award and reaffirm our five point agenda which has workers’ welfare as number one item,” Governor Adeleke noted.
Governor Adeleke’s approval was conveyed in a circular issued by the Ministry of Human Resources and Capacity Building, disclosing that workers in the service of the state will get a N15,000 wage award while pensioners will receive N10,000.
The circular which was signed by Sunday Olugbenga Fadele, a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, noted that the wage award will run for six months, beginning from the month of December.
“Sequel to the negotiation meetings and interactions with labour movement in Osun state, including the representatives of Nigeria Union of Pensioners, the Governor of Osun State, His Excellency, Senator Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, has approved the monthly payment of N15,000 to each active worker and N10,000 to each pensioners in Osun state as palliatives to assuage the pains being experienced as a result of removal of petroleum subsidy by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The payment, as approved, is to commence from the month of December, 2023 for a period of six (6) months,” the circular reads in part.
“While acknowledging and appreciating the understanding of Osun state workers and pensioners for their show of understanding regarding the efforts of the State Government in the last one year to improve tremendously on their welfare, being the first on the 5-point Action Plan, the present administration will continue to ensure its commitment to the welfare of workers are met at all times.
“It is expected that this gesture of government will spur workers in the State to be more diligent and committed to their duties.”
2023 Media Awards: Nestlé Announces Close of Entries
Makers of quality beverages and other household items, Nestlé Nigeria, has announced the end to submission of entries for the 2023 Media Awards.
A statement from the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs department, and signed by Victoria Uwadoka, stated that “The highly anticipated Nestlé Nigeria Media Awards 2023 promises to be an exciting edition with an impressive 118 submissions received from a broad range of the media at the time of the official closing of entries on
November 16, 2023.”
Victoria Uwadoka, who is the Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager, said, “I want to thank all the participants who have submitted the diverse range of entries, showcasing outstanding creativity and professionalism within the Nigerian media. As the stellar panel of judges commences the process of carefully evaluating each submission to determine the most deserving recipients, we eagerly anticipate the announcement of the finalists at the ‘invitation only’ award event early in December 2023.”
She maintained that the Nestlé Media Awards 2023 ceremony promises to be an elegant celebration of vibrancy, innovation and excellence in the Nigerian media in 2023.
Finalists and winners will be announced in the coming days according to statement.